chapter  2
The UN and human rights
ByTheéodore H MacDonald
Pages 13

The primary basis for world peace is an explicit commitment to the concept of the universal human right to dignity. Probably one of the best known of the UN agencies is the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has continued to play a key role in promoting the need to make a primary healthcare (PHC) realisable as a ‘human right’, and indeed in this it has been perfectly consistent with the UN Charter. When the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995, very much under US financial control, it was taken over almost as an arm of the International Monetary Fund, and found itself regarded as a ‘UN agency.’ Since the Doha Declaration, the WTO has been at the forefront of concern among people working for global equity in human rights, and its subsequent ministerial conferences have been anticipated with a mixture of cynicism that nothing will change, and the hope that protective clauses will become binding.